Co-operative Bank boss Paul Flowers has admitted possessing drugs including cocaine and crystal meth.
The minister, nicknamed the “Crystal Methodist”, appeared yesterday before magistrates in Leeds, where he pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of class A drugs – cocaine and methamphetamine – and one count of possession of class C drug ketamine. He was fined £400 and ordered to pay £125 costs.
Flowers, 63, stepped down as the Co-op Bank’s chairman in June after claims of illegal drug use and inappropriate expenses payments. He was also suspended by the Methodist Church and the Labour Party.
The Co-op confirmed last year it was seeking to recover contractual payments totalling £31,000 made to Flowers amid reports that he was also the subject of an inquiry into ‘’lavish’’ expense claims.
Flowers refused to comment as he left court and fought his way through a mass of cameras with the help of two minders.
In court, prosecutor Claire Stevens outlined how Flowers was arrested after he was filmed handing over £300 for the drugs in a car in Leeds in November last year, footage which was sold to a newspaper.
The court heard that a man Flowers thought was a friend “sold his story for greed”.
Flowers admitted the offence to police, who later arrested and interviewed him. He said he had taken cocaine for about 18 months to help with stress and while he was caring for his terminally ill mother, who has since died. Flowers was prosecuted on the basis of admissions he made to police.